Who says that only Americans and Russians can explore space? Humanity has reached the farthest distances of the solar system with its space probes, but one of the main attractions for the astronomers remains the good old Moon. It has been there since the dawn of time, being the reason for many myths and plenty of objective studies.
Recently we found out once again that another country besides the usual ones has sent a satellite to the Moon for exploration.
Longjiang-2 spacecraft is the culprit
The spacecraft is also dubbed as the Discovering the Sky at Longest Wavelengths Pathfinder, or DSLWP-B. After its mission, the satellite crashed into the lunar surface on July 31. The impact site of the spacecraft has been spotted on Nov. 14, during NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission.
The purpose of Longjiang-2
Longjiang-2 had the mission to validate technologies for low-frequency radio observations, along with its companion called Longjiang-1. Longjiang-2 is a pretty small satellite, weighing only 45 kilograms. It was launched to the Moon on May 20, 2018, along with the Queqiao communications satellite.
The crashing of Longjiang-2 did not happen because of an accident, but the Chinese company in charge deliberately crashed it remotely so that the satellite will not clutter up the Moon’s orbit. However, the spacecraft even exceeded its one year mission of exploring our natural satellite.
Will more gadgets have to study the Moon’s surface in the near future? Hopefully, yes, but there still is plenty of time since man himself has been to the Moon. Elon Musk’s SpaceX agency is planning to take humans to the Moon again in the near future. It’s pretty suspicious why humans haven’t returned to the Moon since the Apollo missions, which allowed many to speculate. One hypothesis is that humans have encountered aliens living on the Moon in the ’70s, and they weren’t very friendly with us.